Men's Tennis Finishes ITA Regional With Semifinalists In Singles And Doubles Competition

LAS -- One singles player and two doubles teams from the BYU men's tennis team advanced to the semifinals of the ITA Regional Tournament before being knocked out of the tournament that ended Sunday in Las Vegas.

Senior Damien Ward, the eighth-seed in the tournament, advanced to the singles semifinal round after defeating Matt Bere of San Diego State 6-3, 6-7, 6-4, before losing to fourth-seed Nic Dubey of New Mexico 7-6, 7-5 (5).

Ward also played in the semifinal round of the doubles competition with partner sophomore Gert Vilms. Vilms and Ward were defeated by New Mexico's Dubey and Matt Amgwerd, 9-8.

"They (Ward and Vilms) played well," BYU coach Jim Osborne said. "They had some bad luck and they had some opportunities and didn't convert. It was Damien's third match of the day and I think he was a little tired, but I thought they played very well."

The other Cougar team in a doubles semifinal was the team of junior Nic Losee and freshman Carlos Lozano. They advanced to the semifinal by beating the top-seeded team in the tournament, Leif Meineke and Wesley Moodie of Boise State 8-3. They were defeated in the semifinals by Darin Currall and Amod Wakalkar of the University of Idaho 8-6.

"I was proud of the way we played this week," Osborne said. "After this tournament we could be as high as second when the regional rankings come out later this month. We should be right up there, second or third."

The Cougars finish their fall season with the Southern California Intercollegiate Tournament Nov. 15-21 in Los Angeles. Their winter season starts Jan. 5-9 when they travel to the Milwaukee Tennis Classic.